Wednesday, October 05, 2005

On Any Sunday

Malcom Smith and Bruce Brown discussing something at the 35 year reunion of the making of the best motorcycle film to date. I saw the movie in 1971 when it came out it's main star was Steve McQueen but Malcom Smith made quite a name for himself in the industry and this movies still stands the test of time, yes of course it is dated but you can still feel the passion in the film making and the riders/racers featured.

It was around 1971/72 that I first discovered an
alternative to how to determine if your motorcycle had
spark or not. I credit my brother Charles Chadwick
with this revelation and I will soon explain. This was
in the days of Nixon’s Watergate, Hunter S Thompsons
prime, Dark Side of the Moon’s debut and me learning
once again that my brother cared so much about me as
to teach me to trust no one.
I had been riding bikes for awhile and being a
child of nine/ten I cant blame myself for being
ignorant of the workings of a two stroke internal
combustion engine. I knew how the method of testing
for spark if your bike would not start, just take the
plug out lay it on the head and kick her over, you see
spark you have spark.
Good ole Chuckles ever mindful of my education taught
me a shocking method of discovery.
This was along time ago so patience please, my
bike would not start, I did everything I knew
mechanically to diagnose the problem. The bike had
gas, the fuel petcock was turned to the on position. I
checked for spark…nothing. Chuck came to my rescue and
started to work on my bike kicking it over and over as
if it could be flooded, mumbled a number of ridiculous
hypothesis why my bike would not start, then I should
have recognized that dreadful glint of discovery in
his eyes, he had a solution. "Josh hold onto the plug
while I kick it over I need to check
something"…Although my last Doctors visit did not
indicate I am in imminent peril of going into cardiac
arrest , I learned from my beloved brother at the
tender age of nineish what it must feel like when you
hear from the cold distance a paramedic yell CLEAR! A
shocking revelation, and a lesson well learned.
Travel through time abit to 1976 and I am riding
in North Carolina with me Da and my brother, we always
visited in the summers and Christmas since this was
where my grandparents lived. Always a good time and
always a good story , if I could only remember them
all. This year it was Christmas and me da had the
state of the art Yamaha 1976 360 mono-shock motocross
bike. Set him back a pretty penny, I agreed not to go
to college so he could indulge himself. The bike was
awesome! I being a prime example of neoteny could only
ride the bike if someone would start it for me and
then I would run along side it and jump on when I
felt I could balance the beast. The thing was a brute
but my god what a blast, I can still can feel the
power and glee piled upon glee and…Where was I?…Yea
North Carolina, me da, Chuckles (Charlie does not like
this nickname, nor do I like being shocked by a live
spark plug, paybacks) were out riding on public
land, a big sand field really, I dunno, this was 1976
for crying out loud and lawyers/environmentalists had
not gained a foothold on the proper methods to bleed
us of our freedom to ride around and have fun. Me da
took a break, gassed up his new 360 and then promptly
could not start the thing. So being the father of my
gene pool he naturally pulled the plug on the bike and
laid it on the head to check for spark, which it did
indeed have and the bike suddenly fired up, not in the
traditional sense but in the way when kicked over a
bike reeking of gas and you set a live spark to it
will fire up… I missed all the excitement , the futile
efforts of throwing sand on the burning pyre of sport
, the profanity and the facial expressions, National
Geographic cover worthy facial expressions one can
imagine. I road back only to find that the nitrogen
shock had exploded and it was pretty cool but not
worth the price of admission me da assured me. We
drug our bikes home that Christmas the blackened
carcass of the 360 among them and listened to the
truckers and the hip crowd with CB’s make comments on
the two bikes with the charred remains of something.
My mom was a good sport , my da did not cry (at least
in front of me) and for awhile ole Chuckles and myself
had to share our bikes with Da.


At 6:41 PM , Blogger PPPMoney said...

"Throw a nother log on the fire..."


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